I DO NOT GENERALLY SEE CLIENTS WHO ARE OVERWEIGHT DUE SIMPLY TO BAD EATING HABITS.
If this is your problem then you really don’t need hypnosis, you can lose weight by following any sensible diet and getting more physical exercise by walking more and using stairs not lifts. Ideally you should also find some physical activity that you enjoy enough to keep at it for long enough to make a difference.
Where I might help you is if your overeating has an underlying cause, in other words if you are “comfort eating” to control depression, anxiety, anger or other bad feelings. I also help with more severe problems such as binge eating (bulimia).
Groups like Slimming World and Weight Watchers are helpful for many people, but they don’t suit everyone. If you think those groups could help you, but you avoid them due to lack of confidence or embarrassment, then I may well be able to help you overcome that problem.
Another common reason why some people fail to lose weight despite repeated attempts at dieting, is because they give up too easily. The first time they break the rules of their diet they give up the whole idea immediately. The problem is that these people will generally give up on hypnotherapy for the same reason. I can only help them if we agree that this habit of giving up too easily is their real problem. I would need some evidence of serious commitment in these cases.
The simple rules of weight loss and weight gain.
You will gain weight if you eat more than your body needs, because the surplus will be stored as fat. On average, 7,000 extra calories is turned into one kilogram of fat. Suppose your weight is steady, neither gaining nor losing. But then you decide to eat one flapjack (370 calories) every day as well as your normal meals. In nineteen days you will have clocked up 7,000 extra calories and gained one kilogram of fat.
In the same way, you will lose weight if you eat less calories than your body uses for activity and staying alive, because you will now be using up the energy you stored as fat. You could tip this balance by eating less, or by being more active, or ideally both eating less and being more active.
“Being more active” doesn’t have to mean going to a gym or doing special exercises. Most people could burn more calories by making small changes in their lifestyle such as getting off the bus to work at an earlier stop and walking the rest of the way, or taking the stairs instead of the lift.
There are countless diets available nowadays, as well as apps like “My fitness pal” to help you be more aware of what you’re eating. There are also groups like Weight Watchers and Slimming World which many people find helpful.
In fact almost anyone could lose weight if they simply chose a sensible diet and stuck to it. And many people do succeed by this method. Where they fail it is often because they have relied on “comfort eating” to divert their attention from other problems in their lives.
The Problem of Comfort Eating.
People often eat when they are anxious or sad, because eating lifts their mood for a short time and distracts them from unwanted thoughts and memories and feelings. When people say they eat because of “boredom,” I generally find that “bored” really means mildly unhappy or fed up.
Some people also just cannot bear the physical sensation of being hungry. This may go back to an unhappy childhood when they lacked the food they needed due to poverty or careless parenting.
Where Hypnotherapy can Help.
When the overeating is caused by underlying problems then these problems need to be addressed first. “Comfort eating” needs to be replaced by some better way of dealing with low mood or anxiety or bad memories. This is where hypnotherapy comes in. Hypnotherapy can help you to overcome anxiety, lift your mood, increase confidence, and help to put bad memories behind you.
If however you really have no such problems, but simply eat too much from habit, then you should be able to lose weight steadily by following any of the well-known diets, and getting more active in the ways that I’ve suggested.
Selective Eating Disorder.
This is where someone eats only a very limited range of foods, and may even gag when new foods are introduced. This problem seems to be increasingly common. It normally begins in early childhood, and seems to mostly affect young men. I have helped a number of clients with this problem.
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Reference: 1) Kirsch, I, Montgomery, G, and Sapirstein, G (1995) Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy: a meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 214-220.
For further information about this part of my work, you can phone me on 01752 829 436